Sarah Tomp’s young adult book “The Easy Part of Impossible” is the tale of 17-year-old Ria (Victoria) Williams. She is a young lady with ADHD who has been diving since she was very young. Her parents enrolled her in diving as an outlet for her energy. They eventually invested financially to bring a successful diving coach, Benny Hawkins, to their small Pierre, Virginia community for the purpose of supporting Ria’s natural diving ability and her goal of making the United States Olympic Diving Team.
The story begins shortly after Ria has quit diving because of an incident at a prestigious meet where she was expected to take first place. This incident resulted in Ria removing herself from the meet. Benny would not allow her to rejoin his swim team because she was “…an obvious head case that no swim team would ever want.”
While diving, Ria’s entire life was managed and controlled by Benny. Her parents were even eliminated from interfering because of Benny’s demands, which were supposed to make Ria into a great diver. Once Ria stopped diving, she found herself with extra time and a great deal of extra energy. She found that exploring a local cave with Cotton, a grade school friend, helped soothe her need to be active.
Cotton and Ria knew each other from a very young age because they attended special needs classes together. Their shared experiences allow Ria to feel comfortable with Cotton. As their relationship progresses, conversations the two have cause Ria to reflect on her mistreatment at the hands of Benny.
Tomp’s story reveals the impact of abuse on a young girl’s perception of who she is and what she needs to tolerate to make her dreams a reality. This was an eye-opening tale. Abuse can be sneaky when it develops slowly over time and can result in the dependency of the abused upon the abuser. This book is valuable reading for both parents and young adults.